Mundabor celebrates these Vatican initiatives:
At this point you already all know about the latest, surprisingly coherent decisions in the Vatican. Lest it be told that I only speak of the man in order to criticise him, I would like to say a word or two of praise at least of the coherence involved.
1. The Vatican decision to shut down and destroy all air conditioners within the Vatican city (similar measures will be implemented in every Catholic diocese in time) is at least a sign of coherence. Granted, the one or other old prelate may die, at least indirectly, because of the heat that follows (it promises to be a very hot summer in Rome), but it is good to see that there is the willingness to put one’s sweat where one’s encyclical is. Note that the air conditioning appliances will be destroyed, not sold. It makes sense, as selling them would only encourage consumerism and shift the problem to other offices and households.
2. The decision, also announced, to put an immediate end to every travelling of the Pope is likewise to be praised. In the age of the Internet and social media, the voice of the Pope can reach pretty much anyone without any need to cause huge Co2 emissions for himself, his entourage, the security, the journalists, and the rest of the circus. Twitter is so environmentally friendly…
3. Even more coherent is the decision to put an end to World Youth Days. Millions of people gathering every time. A stunningly expensive exercise in terms of not only money (which can be given to the poor), but emissions. One can agree or not with the ideology of Laudato Si, but here is one saying that at least they practice their bad preaching.
4. I find the decision to have the Vatican carbon-neutral within 2016, and every diocesan office within 2019, a tad extreme. It will obviously require not only to sweat in summer, but also to freeze in winter; and the Roman winters can be fairly punishing at times, at least if you never lived in Connecticut, or Minnesota. It will require to curb the use of electricity, gas, fuel, mobility, food, everything. It will be a mess. But it will also give a great contribution in introducing that kind of simple, poor, rural society in which the Pontiff clearly sees the solution to our problems. And it will be an example. A great, if stupid, example.